6 Ways to Generate More Leads at Trade Shows
It’s trade show season! Well, that’s what every busy event professional says, every month. As you plan for your next event or map out your trade show calendar for the following year, you’re likely focused on generating more leads when you exhibit. Unfortunately, most companies put in an incredible amount of time and money into exhibiting at an event, but lead management becomes an afterthought. If you’re reading this article, congratulations! You’re one step ahead of the game.
We’ve compiled 6 of the best ways to generate leads at trade shows based on our own experiences, our customers’ experiences, and feedback from the market. Here they are:
1: Equip Every Staff Member with Mobile Lead Capture
When exhibiting at a trade show most show organizers provide exhibitors with what’s commonly called “lead retrieval”. For the most part, the show appointed lead retrieval system will be very basic, lack customization, and not support integration with your sales and marketing system(s). Moreover, they usually charge per person. Costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to five hundred dollars per person.
Restricting use per user limits your company’s ability to collect leads.
Instead, get a solution that allows you to put lead capture in every staff member’s hands. Industry leading solutions work online and offline (so you can collect leads anywhere on site or off site, or heck – in the basement) and capture leads in different ways. Popular mobile apps can scan business cards, badges, and manually collect leads through form fill. These solutions are commonly referred to as universal lead capture apps. Regardless of where you’re at, and who you are, you should be able to collect leads for your company and have them funneled into one centralized database and instantly sent into your CRM or marketing automation system.
2: Stand Up a Kiosk Inside Your Booth
This self-service approach is a great way to not only advertise your services but complement mobile lead capture. There might be times where all your staff members are tied up in meaningful conversations with show attendees. A kiosk allows attendees to enter their information and/or scan their badge to fill out a kiosk form. The kiosk can be locked so attendees don’t get lost in the lead capture app or start messing with your tablet settings. iPads are inexpensive these days, and a simple kiosk stand can be purchased from Amazon for around $60.
Another neat benefit of using a kiosk is advertising. Retailers commonly refer to this feature as an “attract loop”. It’s essentially a screen saver that can rotate through images and calls-to-action on your kiosk. When the attendee taps the screen, they’ll see the lead capture form to fill out, request literature or more information, and be on their way.
Instead of missing leads because nobody is there to help them, use a kiosk and maximize lead capture!
3: Host a Game
Instead of hauling large, expensive, physical activations to your event, use digital activations that you can run on a tablet. I know, you might be a bit perplexed by the word “activations”. It’s essentially a way to engage your audience. An example activation would be a Spin the Wheel game. Instead of bringing the physical wheel to the event, bring a tablet and customize your own wheel game. The concept of gamification will help draw in your audience.
4: Hold a Competition
Everyone innately loves to compete. It’s a quality we were all born with. The thirst for competition doesn’t curtail at trade shows. In fact, competition is usually heightened at live events as attendees typically travel with coworkers or friends. Who doesn’t like to compete with their friends or look awesome next to their fellow cohorts!
Industry leading event gamification platforms also have prizes and leaderboards to help you build a competition. When your competition is solidified, market it with your pre-show efforts. This will help drive more leads to your booth. Also, gift card rewards and prizes provide a reason for your sales team to follow up – resulting in more touch points with your leads. Run your leaderboard live at your event by mounting a small TV in your booth. As attendees play your game, their scores will populate on the leaderboard.
Want to take the competition to a new level? Have a team-based competition where teams are automatically formed around an attendee’s company. For example, every attendee that works at Microsoft would be on the “Microsoft” team. This will help your company capture more leads as participants will recruit their coworkers for you!
5: Create an Experience
Another way to generate more leads at trade shows is to hold an experience, such as a photo booth or treasure hunt. These interactive experiences help attendees have fun while collecting lead data. This puts your prospect in a better mood and primes them for a good conversation. The attendee also wins as they get a souvenir, can share their photos with friends and colleagues, and have a chance to win something – should you go that route.
6: Touchless Lead Capture
COVID-19 helped us all realize that germs are a real thing! Touchless lead capture technology was a neat innovation that came from the pandemic. With touchless, or contactless lead capture, companies can set up a custom branded QR code on display inside their booth. Attendees scan the QR code with their personal cell phone. Once scanned, a lead capture form opens up on the attendee’s device. They can fill in their information instead of touching anything, getting close to a staff member, or shaking hands.
Combine games and experiences with custom QR codes to deliver a unique touchless experience that drives lead capture!
To see how Captello’s growing library of digital activations (games), universal lead capture, and reward-based solutions can help your company generate more leads at your trade shows, contact us today!